It is always rational to sacrifice a smaller group for the sake of a larger group if both groups are irreconcilable. The same idea is present in the scriptures.
For the sake of a family a member may be sacrificed; for the sake of a village a family may be sacrificed, for the sake of a province a village may be sacrificed and for the sake of one's own soul the whole earth may be sacrificed.
[Section 61, Sisupala-badha Parva, Sabha Parva, The Mahabharata]
I have difficulty understanding the bolded portion.
I am thinking of two interpretations:
#1: One has to renounce (sacrifice) the whole earth to realize oneself (soul).
Although this interpretation seems apt, it is Vedantic in nature. I doubt whether this interpretation is correct in this context as it seems not intended to be related to Vedanta and probably is vyavaharika.
#2: One has to sacrifice the whole earth to protect herself.
Suppose this is taken as the exact interpretation. In that case, it deviates from the passage's intention to protect the larger group('s interest) compared to the smaller one.
Which one among the both is valid? If none, what is the exact interpretation of the bolded portion?